As you might know already Marvel Studios is making "The Avengers" movie, coming out the summer of 2012. If you didn't know, The Avengers are several superheros such as Captain America, Iron-Man, Hulk, and Thor, that team up to save the world. This should explain the quick release of some of this years blockbuster comic book movies. The Avengers are also made up of other superheros, Black Widow, Nick Furry and Hawkeye, which have no movie coming out before 2012. So the question I have is "was a Captain America movie necessary?" Before I give you my opinion of the movie and the answer to my question, let me give you the set up to "Captain America, The First Avenger".
1942, World War 2 is at a potential tipping point and Nazi forces are trying to gain the upper hand by finding occult items and relics. To find these items of the occult, Hitler creates a division in his military called "Hydra". Hydra is a special research facility headed by Johann Schmidt aka Red Skull, a top military aid to Hitler convinced finding these items will give him god like power. Getting word of Hitler's plan, American and Allied forces work together and come up with a genetic serum designed to make super soldiers to stop Hitler and Hydra. With the serum complete, the US military starts looking for volunteers to inject with the serum.
Steve Rogers is a little guy from Brooklyn who desperately wants to enlist and do his part to help America win the war. Unfortunately his size and medical conditions earn him a 4F, ineligible to enlist. No matter how many times Steve gets turned down for service, he tries again. This determination to not quit and keep enlisting gets Steve noticed by Dr. Erskine, the genetic engineer who created the super serum. When Dr. Erskine asks Steve why he wants to enlist so bad, Steve replies "I don't like bullies". Dr. Erskine sees that Steve is a good man and knows that is what the serum needs to make a super soldier.
Steve goes through boot camp and fails at almost every test. Dr. Erskine fights for Steve as a candidate to Colonel Phillips, explaining his strength is in his character not his size. Determined to prove Steve is not a worthy candidate, the Colonel throws a grenade in front of Steve and all the other soldiers. Steve is the only one that throws himself on the grenade to save the other soldier. Dr. Erskine smiles knowing the Colonel just proved Steve was the best man for the super serum test.
Once Steve gets briefed on the experiment, he goes to the test facility hidden in a below ground base. While Steve gets prepped for the experiment, the doctor reminds him of how important it is to stay a "good man". As Steve gets strapped down and the procedure begins, a group from the Pentagon circle closer to see if the experiment will work. As lights flash, control panels beep and some anguish yelling happens, the experiment ends. Steve steps away from the testing area, success, he is now much bigger, taller and stronger than an average soldier. The success is short-lived. From the distance a voice yells "Hail Hydra" and a man shoots Dr. Erskine and detonates a small explosion destroying the serum and the testing area. Steve rushes to Dr. Erskine as the military chase after the assign. Dr. Erskine's last words to Steve are "be a good man". With the serum destroyed Steve is the only super soldier. Steve is now promoted to Captain and it is now up to Captain America to go after Hydra and Red Skull to stop them from wining WW2. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458339/
Ok, I admit, I didn't collect comics as a kid, or now, and I never read a Captain America comic. I liked comic books as a kid, I read a few and I do like comic book movies. So maybe die-hard comic book collectors will disagree with me when I say this. We didn't need a Captain America movie to understand "The Avengers". A 10 minute set up in the movie about Captain America would have taken care of it. This seems more like a money grab then a genuine desire or feeling of need to properly set up The Avengers.
Now, that being said "how was the movie?" Overall I liked it. The acting was great. Tommy Lee Jones did an excellent job playing Colonel Phillips. He played the part well, more like he was playing for a role in a WW2 movie and less like a super hero movie. Chris Evans was also very good. I wasn't expecting him to play the part so well. Even as Captain America, he kept the charm and humble attitude of the skinny kid from Brooklyn. Hugo Weaving is an excellent actor and didn't disappoint as Red Skull. The writing and editing were both very good and it took you back to a time when people were more patriotic than today. Newsreels, propaganda posters, American Flags, that was great. But with all that, I just "like it". What can I say, I don't know anyone that is my age or younger that has ever read a Captain America comic. I think that's the movies set back. Captain America wasn't as cool a character as Iron-Man, the Hulk or Wolverine. So when it comes to a movie, I just wouldn't race out to see it in theaters. Here is how I see it, it's a must see rental. Rated PG13 for action violence. Good for the kids, I don't remember any bad language. Enjoy!